June was a month that found us working hard as we planted new vines in our Monfumo vineyard. It was back-breaking work and the weather was hot and muggy. And the job was interrupted by the rain, which kept us from working for a few days and which made the planting of grafted cuttings even more challenging.
Luckily for us, in the days that followed the planting, there was abundant rain and so the little plants quickly took root.
The situation in the vineyards continues to look good. There’s no peronospora spotting on the vines, the fruit set is healthy, and you can see the bunches developing on the vines.
One of my nightmares is yellow vine disease (otherwise known as flavescence dorée). It’s a problem that afflicts nearly every wine-producing area in northern Italy.
As I’ve written her before, producing a certified organic Asolo Prosecco means battling this disease with a product that is entirely ineffective in containing the vector insect that spreads it.
Pyrethroids are not a selective product. They kill all the insects that come into contact with it and so it’s difficult for it to target the leafhoppers exclusively.
In order to improve our effectiveness in combatting yellow vine disease, we are being aided by Enological Research Institute in Conegliano. Their technicians determine the best day to spray the vineyards. The results have been very good. The second time they came to monitor the vineyards, the leafhopper population had dropped significantly.
June 1 – Our little friends in the vineyards.
June 4 – The vines in Monfumo flowered 15 days after those on the valley floor. So far, Monfumo is the coolest township in the entire Asolo DOCG Superiore appellation.
June 9 – We began to expand our vineyards in Monfumo. Those are stakes that come from chestnut trees in our woods.
June 10 – We checked the vineyards in Cornuda for leafhoppers, the vector insect that spreads yellow vine disease. This is an extremely difficult problem to deal with when you farm organically.
June 11 – We found a small salamander that was making its way through the vineyards in Monfumo.
June 12 – The soil in Monfumo.
June 13 – Stakes and the first grafted cuttings that we planted in part of the Monfumo vineyard.
June 15 – When you work the vineyards by hand, you don’t need the rows to be perfectly straight. Not even the stakes are “level.”
June 17 – Usually, we cut the grass between the rows using a trimmer. But unfortunately, this can also cause tiny cuts in the vines that could make for problems down the road.
Because we don’t use herbicides, we decided to use a flamer that you wear on your back to “burn” the grasses near the vines.
June 22 – The grafted cuttings begin to bud.
June 24 – Pleistocene and Holocene limestone and clay subsoil known locally as caranto in our Monfumo vineyard.
June 27 – A double rainbow above our winery.